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Posted: October 11, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Man steals from Wal-Mart, attempts to flee across I-20 on foot

Covington Police Officers were forced to chase a man across a street and into the woods after he reportedly stole a digital tape recorder from Wal-Mart.

When officers were called to the store, they were told that a white male was running from loss prevention officers and was last seen around Little Phillies restaurant. The man was allegedly seen stealing the digital tape recorder — valued at $37.19 — and when told to stop he ran from the store.

After about 20 minutes of searching, officers were still unable to locate the swift shoplifter and were getting ready to leave the location when they reportedly noticed a man matching the description of the alleged shoplifter creeping through the woods behind Flaunt. Officers went after the man, yelling for him to stop and put his hands up and he allegedly began running from them. At one point in the chase, an officer used his Taser, but was unable to get a good contact because of the clothing the man was wearing.

After being fired at with the Taser the man reportedly doubled back and began running toward Interstate 20 instead of away from it. He ran across a parking lot, climbed a 10-15-foot fence separating the parking lot from the interstate and only stopped when the Taser was fired at him again and was able to connect. But that only stopped him momentarily.

The man continued to run from officers, according to reports, and continued to do so on the interstate. He allegedly continued across I-20 east and climbed the median wall into I-20 west, all the while reportedly ignoring continued requests by officers to stop running. The suspect was chased across I-20 westbound traffic, down the hill on the other side of the interstate at which time he reportedly decided to listen to officers and lay down on the ground, surrendering.

The man was identified as 24-year-old John Cody Holland Oakes and reportedly had the stolen digital recorder in his possession. He also allegedly admitted to officers that he had stolen the recorder, reportedly saying that he knew he "made a dumb mistake" and that "he was a good person."

After being checked out at Newton Medical Center Oakes was transported to the Newton County Detention Center where he was charged with shoplifting and obstruction. The digital recorder was returned to Wal-Mart.

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